I have to confess, my heart stopped for a few beats when I saw my fun little queer mystery on the list. It was on the site of a conservative group that professed to "clean up" the local library, and the list read: "pornographic books."
Um, what? MY book? The one with a girl who thinks that holding hands is gross and kissing is unheard of? The girl who lightly admitted to a friend that she crushes on girl and boy characters?
The hardest thing to handle is a lie. An error can be corrected, a mistake rectified. But such a bold lie is hard to handle. Because what else can you call it when someone refers to a book about two penguin dads raising a baby penguin as "pornographic" and "promoting hypersexuality?" It's a lie, and it's difficult to know what to to with it.
One thing I can't do is create another lie in response. When I tell people that my book is being challenged, I'm often met with pride and support. "You must be doing something right!" people say. "This will really put your book on the map." "You should wear this as a badge of honor." "You should feel good about yourself."
This is, of course, a wonderful and positive response. And, in many ways, I am proud of what I've achieved with this book. But to say that I only feel good about this would be a lie. As much as the big picture is one of pride, there are also the days, and the moments. To read a challenge that claims your book promotes deviant lifestyle, and has no inherent value...it hurts. To read hate mail from people who target me solely because of my identity hurts. Maybe someday soon, I will feel pride and honor. But, today, I feel beaten down.
Maybe tomorrow will be kinder.